Home > B3 and B4, Learning > How Campaign Commercials are Convincing You

How Campaign Commercials are Convincing You

            I have always found the presidential election an exciting time of political competition.  I like to see how each candidate displays their viewpoints and attacks other candidates.  In America today, it is apparent that technology shapes our world and candidates have taken that greatly into account.  Many political parties use campaign commercials in order to win voters’ support.  I have always found the commercials amusing, but not until my time spent in government class did I consider what the producers and campaigners consider while creating the ads.   The short commercials often address the points of emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style in order to arouse audiences and win supporters for a candidate.

            With technology today, it is easy to add things to a commercial, which will catch the audience’s emotions.  Music is very important.  A song with a beat that is loud and rhythmic provides a feeling of security and determination.  A viewer may be engaged in the commercial because they can feel the candidate has a positive strength because of the music, which is what they are looking for in a candidate.  In Mccain’s “Freedom” campaign, the music provides a sense of encouragement and a positive attitude, which many Americans would find appealing in a candidate.  Another example of catching viewers’ emotions is when the commercial contains a picture or clip, which people would awe over.  For example in Romney’s “Better” commercial, a baby is used in order to catch the audience’s attention.  The baby is cute and innocent, which causes people to be on the side of the baby.  Therefore, the commercial producers make the candidate’s views coordinate with the baby in order to win supporters.  Emotional appeals can be a key way in catching people’s attention.

 Wouldn’t this baby catch your emotional appeal? (“Better”)

            Persuasion is a set of beliefs, where in campaigns, the candidates try to sway their opinions and gain votes from people with their same beliefs.  In order to win votes, the candidates must convince their audience.  The commercials include information that proves how the candidate is the best choice.  In Gore’s “Accountability” campaign commercial from 2000, Gore provides reasons why education is a very important issue.  The commercial provides information that people should pick him because he is dedicated to improve education by lowering class sizes.  Persuasion is probably the most important style.

            Next, the objective, factual claims, is used to show if a candidate is truly committed to what they tell people their viewpoints and goals are.  The campaign commercials are able to prove this by providing examples of what they have already done in the past that support their future goals.  For example, in Obama’s Early Childhood Education video, facts are provided to show Obama can be trusted in what he says he will do.  The commercial provides, “Barack Obama promised to invest in early childhood education,” and then it shows that he kept his promise because he “enabled the head start & early head start programs to serve an additional 61,000 children and their families”.  A campaign commercial is able to provide evidence of how a candidate is truthful, which viewers would not have thought about until seeing the commercial.

            Lastly, cinematic style is how the filming is edited to please audiences.  The different styles include voice-overs, pictures, video transition, etc., which help keep audiences interested.  In Bush’s commercial in 2004, the cinematic style creates a comedic commercial.  The music helps create the tone of hypocrisy.  By using clips of the wind surfer going back and forth, people are able to understand how Kerry often changes his mind.  The cinematic style helps enforce ideas and make the main ideas clearer.

            As hopefully seen, the different motives all have the same goal in mind: to win the candidate votes in the election.  In the end of the day, the commercials are successful if they are able to convince voters.  Many of the campaigns become very competitive and will talk bad about the other candidates in order to make themselves look better.  In my opinion, I believe using emotion, persuasion, factual claims, and cinematic style is the best way for a candidate to prove himself.

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  1. emilyk13
    May 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Good Job Marce! Your ideas are very creative and I like the commentary you added with each claim you presented and also the incorporation of an actual video. However, to enhance this piece, you should add a more “clever” title and also add transitions between paragraphs to allow the essay to read more smoothly. Also, more detail about each example would more fully develop your claim, for instance with the Gore Campaign example. You could state what persuasive tones or facts that Gore issued in order to get his point across. Overall, great post and very informative!

  2. selinarod
    May 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with Kelsoe! You did a great job! I love the video, it was very intriguing. However, I think adding better transitional sentences would be helpful to keep people in flow and understand points better. Some points were not fully clearified and it might be helpful for you to revise them.

  3. daniellewil
    May 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I love your reflection, you did a great job. I agree with what Selina and Emily already said about the transitional sentences though. Adding these would allow for better flow and connect the entire reflection better. Another thing that really jumped out at me positively is the caption you added to your video! Your conclusion paragraph is really strong and concludes the entire reflection.

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